Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dreams vs. Goals - Guest Writer Liz Finch

Have you ever dreamed of running a Marathon? Maybe even the Boston? Even if your answer is no, this post can still help you… if you are only willing to take a small journey with me. Ready? Let’s begin.

The first thing you need to learn is that there is a big difference between goals and dreams.  A dream is only a dream. When we take steps to achieve it, then, and only then, does it become a goal.  A dream is the desire to run Boston. A goal is taking steps to run the Boston. Even so, dreams are very important because they are the stepping stones for our goals.

So think with me for a moment, what do you daydream about? I literally had a dream last night that I was running this 5k that I’m registered for and my running was effortless and flowing just like what I had secretly imagined. Okay, so a 5k is a small dream, but it’s a stepping stone to larger dreams like one day running a full marathon.

The very first thing that I need is a mission statement. A mission statement is your dream, written out. So let’s say my big dream is to run in the Disney Princess Half come February 2012. (My small dream was the 5k, remember?) My mission statement might be, “I will train, through 5ks and 10ks, to run in the Disney Princess Half”. Or it might be, “I will become fit and strong through running races and cross training so that I can run the Disney Princess Half”. This mission statement is for you alone, so get as creative as you like!

The next step is where you can get quite creative. Put on your thinking cap, and think of goals that will help you accomplish your mission statement. Mini-steps. The only criteria that you need to use for those are that they must be MAPSS – Measurable, Attainable, Positive, Specific, and Scary!

So a good goal for me is, “I will run 2 5ks and 2 10ks and 1 half marathon to prepare for the Disney Princess Half”. A mini goal is “I will run the 5ks in under 40 minutes”. Measurable, Attainable, Positive, Specific, and Scary! 

Keep making goals until you’ve reached your major goal. So it would look like this:
Run a 5k à Run a 10k à Run a half marathon à Run the Disney Princess Half. 

Under each of those you might have even smaller goals, like a time goal, weight goal, or fitness level goal.
Does that make sense? Remember, any dream can be accomplished if you only break it down into measurable steps.

The last step is the most fun, in my opinion. Post your mission statement and your current goal somewhere where you can see it. On your bathroom mirror, the fridge, where ever! I also post pictures from Runner’s World and especially the posters of the Disney Princess Half all over the house so I’m always reminded of my goal.

Cheers, and Good Luck on your Goals!

L. Finch

Liz is a runner from the Kansas area whose biggest dream is to run the Disney Princess Half... and someday maybe a marathon. Her weakness is coffee, chocolate, and books. After falling and breaking her arm while running, her greatest fear is falling while running. Visit Liz at her blog Feet Dominating Pavement


Black Knight said...

Beautiful post, I follow her blog.
I agree about the goals step by step. Before my incident part of my marathon training were the half marathons: it worked.

Giorgio said...

Great post! I completely agree with you! If the dreams became the stepping stones for our goals they would be very important.